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The Great Summer Smokeout

Grilled Tomato Bread With Fresh Herbs

David Uygur, Lucia

Photograph by Jody Horton

6 to 8 slices of dense rustic bread, 1 inch thick or more (stale bread works well)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus some for brushing and tossing
8 large tomatoes (enough to make about 2 cups of  juice and pulp)
1 clove garlic, finely grated 
1 large zucchini cut lengthwise into 1/8 -inch-thick slices  (skin on)
1 fennel bulb cut crosswise into 1/8 -inch-thick slices
1 cup fennel fronds (reserve a few for garnish)
1 cup dill fronds (reserve a few)
1 cup Italian parsley (reserve a few leaves)
1 cup basil (reserve a few)
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 pint stracciatella, burrata, or other rich, mild cheese, at room temperature
kosher or sea salt to taste

Preheat grill (can use a toaster or panini press). Brush bread with olive oil and grill until a deep golden-brown on both sides. Grate tomatoes using the large holes on a box grater and put juice and pulp in a nonreactive bowl or pan. Stir in garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and salt. Briefly soak bread until it is thoroughly moist but not soggy. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, toss sliced zucchini, fennel, herbs, and onion with olive oil and salt. Set aside. Spread bread generously with stracciatella and arrange zucchini mixture attractively on top. Serve on a platter garnished with reserved herbs.

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